In this Cinderella retelling, Sootypaws the mouse lives with her stepmother and sisters, who are rats in all senses of the word. But with a little help from her woodland friends, Sootypaws finds her way to the ball to meet her prince—and the two decide to ditch the castle. In the end, Sootypaws and the prince kick off their shoes and run barefoot into the meadow, where all the animals welcome them and they live mousily ever after.
Maggie Rudy has been making mice and their worlds for 25 years. Her father was a biologist and her mother and grandmother were artists, so her childhood was full of nature outings and making things. She spent part of her childhood living in England, where she encountered her first felt mice in a Lancaster toyshop, and visited Beatrix Potter’s farm in a formative third-grade field trip.
Her work stars mice and other small woodland creatures, and is firmly grounded in the natural world. She says, “I believe that young children have an innate affinity with nature and it’s my desire to kindle and sustain that connection through humor, appealing characters and detailed,gorgeous pictures”.
After the publication of each book, the completed scenes travel with Maggie to be displayed in bookstore windows, where they are a major attraction with children and their parents.
Maggie works in her home studio in the woods in Portland, Oregon, where her creatures and sets will soon overtake her house.
I hope they laugh at the silly parts and root for kindness. I hope they spend hours poring over the details, and wondering at the beauty and richness of the natural world.
For Jerry and Lynn Rudy, my favorite parents
Recommend this refreshing adaptation to fans of fairy tales and those who appreciate picture hunts and visual artistry.
Decadent double-page spreads, such as the scene of the prince’s ball, offer opportunities for readers to play an informal seek-and-find game: identifying the classical instruments in the band, counting the number of wigs, or exploring the intricate design of the staircase could occupy a whole sitting. Matter-of-fact text and a plain typeface allow readers to focus on the elaborate images.